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Tom Allensworth

Demographic Early Results Discussion - Feature Closures

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This is a chart of data taken to-date from over 750 respondents. This chart tells me that forums are the most important source of information add-on products, followed by product reviews. The least important sources are Vendor Email, Press Releases and "other".

 

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This second chart seems to me to indicate that AVSIM products reviews, in terms of importance, are sort of "ho-hum", compared to the library and forums themselves. Hobby news is less important than reviews - and that is rather surprising.

 

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The rating for community member reviews is pretty high. But, if you take a look at the member contributor reviews found here, you will see that as of today, the last submission by a member was made in April! So, given the the importance of reviews by users in making purchasing decisions, the results shown to date, to me anyway, are a bit confusing. Can anyone provide a little logic to what you see here?

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In my opinion hearing both sides of a product in a forum (although many times out of control) is more beneficial than a review posting. In my mind I am thinking why is someone posting a review (are they really trying to inform in an unbias manner or are they trying to "sell" the product). In the forums when it gets heated we know some people are very bias and can discount comments accordingly. :blink: Just my opinion......

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Maybe comments or discussions about the latest releases, and/or topics that affect this hobby discussed in the forum (either positive, negative or indifferent) hold more value than an official review?

 

My perception (reinforced by my initial thoughts about your survey findings) suggest to me that any news about new releases, or changes to this hobby are generally driven by, and given exposure to, forum members. I'm not putting Avsim down, but that is the way it has been developing for a few years now.

 

Avsim's strength is that it is a forum and, I suspect if handled correctly, is a collective voice. And to me that is it's strength ..... unless of course that strength is abused.

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I think you're reading too much into the 'results'. When I look at the questions and the choices offered, I can see why the results would tend to skew towards one thing or another.

 

As example you put Groups, User Reviews, Links, Blogs, Image Gallery and Video Gallery together to apparently determine which of them was the 'more important'. However, the base context of importance doesn't translate equally across the choices.

 

Groups are new, and their importance is going to truly be an unknown.

Links may be viewed as advertising.

Blogs are an odd lot, they are generally 100% opinion, rarely factual and usually followed by those who 'think alike'.

The Image and Video gallery are nice, but they too tend to stand alone as they're usually something done by a person who really likes trying to make amazing images and/or videos.

So... that leaves little ole User Reviews to stand alone as a true review-oriented presentation.

 

It just doesn't compare well.

 

Years back I wrote professional survey software... and making a survey is about defining questions that don't skew results. It's a very difficult process.

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To me reviews are subjected to who ever is testing, their expectations and relative to what they already have. There are so many factors to an add-on in FSX that change the way it works and how it performs. Take the PMDG 777, some people think it is amazing, so for them to review it would be a positive result, however some people are saying that they are getting a lot of OOMS and low frame rates, so for them to review it then it would be negative.

 

They do give a base line of the product, maybe preview screen shots, but forums tell a bigger picture. Not only do you get opinions on the product, but you find out if it needs things tweaking to work good, if it plays well with other add-ons. If it is a certain setting that is making it look bad.

 

Example:

 

I make a review on some new airport textures, the textures are super high definition. I am used to flying from other airports of medium and get good frame rates. This new airports drags my frame rates down so I write a review saying "looks excellent but very poor performance"

 

Another person reviews the scenery, however their system in optimized as they always run HD texture airports. They have no problems with frame rates, so they write "looks excellent and runs great".

 

These are now two different reviews, one tells me that if I buy then I may have problems, one saying buy with no problems. Now on the forum it becomes a discussion on the product, you find out about the product, any pitfalls and you can see how other people cope, If you get one or two people saying its bad, you can have people giving suggestions on how to improve it. Yes it may get heated, especially on some forums, but it still better then a straight review. Don't get me wrong, a review helps but I would rather read the forum. 

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I'm curious as to why the column ranking order is different...

In the first image, Least Important is far left (light cyan), in other images the far left column (light cyan) is Extremely Important...

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I'm curious as to why the column ranking order is different...

 

In order to keep everyone awake.

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I suppose user reviews don't neccesarily need to be those of the lengthy formatted text and picture kind. User reviews could also apply to the simpler I do/don't like it, or this aspect of it, as expressed in the forum postings. Those kinds of simpler reviews are cumulative, giving a broader picture of the product from many as opposed to the opinion of one which likely has a lesser value.

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